the world that once spilled with amber flecks
and the sky that used to drip with purple lava
are finally,
there are no more sunsets.
only the swirl of stardust that
settles around the edge of the universe.
but the moon survived.
her surface is scarred with deep cuts
and jagged cliffs.
each night i whisper that she needn't hide from me.
smoke and ash still paint the atmosphere,
even after all these years.
but we are resilient.
i no longer believe each night is the end.
the battle wounds and crackling wreckage
still haunt me.
i wake from drowning in ocean crashes
and cannot extinguish their threats.
it will one day curse me no more.
when reality and nightmare converge
upon memories of cliffs,
where not even the familiar caress
of lunar waves can reach me. 
i smile at the captain.
the others didn't trust him.
they said we should mutiny
and chart our own course.
but i couldn't betray him.
not when he charted the moonblips amidst erratic fire,
looked at me like i was finally worthy,
steered the ship away from destruction,
and released me from the enemy's anchor.
i couldn't stop the mutiny.
they cut the lines,
changed our navigation,
and locked us down below deck.
i tried to fight back,
but the captain only surrendered.
"why won't you do something?" i cried.
he looked at me with a kindness in his eyes,
and said, "judgement shall come to pass in time, my child."
i didn't understand his words for a long time.
but when the ship shuddered and creaked and threatened to break
the betrayers begged the captain to fix what they had done.
in an instant, the ship reverted to stillness
and they started to tighten the lock,
but the captain stood before them,
glorious and somber.
he smiles at me now,
and i recall how they were forced to leave,
how punishment finally fell upon the wicked.
as they left for the lifeboats,
one turned his black eyes on me and uttered,
"surely you wish to reject her, too, captain."
but the captain only sighed,
a great sadness in his eyes as he looked at the crowd.
"you meant to destroy me, but she stayed with me.
you meant to cause chaos, but she came to warn me.
you had your chance at forgiveness
and yet you favored wickedness.
but she repented long ago,
and withstood your torment,
your temptation,
your evil intentions."
he paused, turning toward me.
"she will be rewarded for her endurance
and willingness to uphold righteousness."
they went in silence,
but their silence was thunderous.
now i stand on the ship's sturdy deck,
looking out at the expanse of the galaxies
robed in starlight.
and i breathe out the air of a life i no longer have.
the captain stands beside me
as a blinding light outshines the darkness of night.
"well done, my good and faithful servant."
and that's when i finally understand
that there will no longer be any need to say goodbye.

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Bree Dawn is a voracious book dragon who believes in the power of stories. As a young girl, she always begged her parents to let her read “one more chapter” before bedtime. As an adult, she uses this same passion to craft dark stories with hopeful undertones for young adults who seek a glimmer of light in this dark world. Bree is currently working on her dystopian fantasy novel while consuming as many stories as possible.

7 thoughts on “goodnight

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